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Trimming the Sails:the Dutch and the Eu Constitution after the Referendum

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that the no vote was one of a series of shocks which had shaken Dutch politics since 2002 and that the cabinet, major parties responded in characteristic Dutch fashion, by adapting, absorbing dissenting points of view and making them their own - in effect, going with the flow. It examines Dutch positions and how they changed in the aftermath of referendum. It then places these in context of a consensus democracy under pressure because of 2002 success of List Pim Fortuyn (LPF) and other smaller parties and murder of film producer Theo van Gogh. The chapter considers June 2007 European Council, particularly the ways in which British and French 'red lines' allowed the Dutch what they wanted and move from reluctant and unexpected 'no' to 'yes,' not to the Constitution but rather to Treaty revisions which stripped proposed institutional reforms from constitutional jacket in which they had been packaged.

Keywords: Constitutional Treaty; Dutch politics; EU Constitution; European council; List Pim Fortuyn (LPF); no vote; referendum; Theo van Gogh



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